Type of course? Iconic and jolly famous.
Pleasant staff? Yes, very.
Best hole? The third. A beautiful par 3 that you need to be bold with because you know you probably aren’t going to play it ever again. It’s a hole that has been photographed many times.
Après golf? A toasted Ruben sandwich that had a lot of cheese, with fries, in the Lodge. Sitting outside, looking down the first hole towards the ocean with paragliders was a lovely way to end the round.
Nice round? Lovely. I joined a three ball, none of whom knew each other. One local who has been playing the course for over 30 years, a lovely chap called Mark from Michigan on holiday in California and a local Californian who has a low handicap but doesn’t get to play much at the moment. All three were charming and complimentary of good shots. They were also good at finding my ball, as it had a tendency to roll in the rough on almost all drives. I particularly enjoyed our local guide saying that the way the rough was cut (or not) at the moment added 6 shots to his round. It was very difficult to find balls and I’m sure a lot of people were annoyed by it.
Special memory? Lots. The excitement of the starter saying there was an available slot at 6:40am (I got there at 6:20am. Thank you jet lag). The relief of hitting a good tee shot on the 7th, where we started, as there was work going on around the first. The sun rising quickly and warming everything up. Seeing the ocean at the end of an immaculate fairway. My first par, 8 holes in. Finally getting the feel of my hired driver on the 6th (our 18th) and really connecting to finally leave a ball on the fairway. I could go on.
Must play again? If someone else would like to play and somehow get a reservation, then yes please. I’ll get on that 11 hour flight again.